October 12, 1935 – October 3, 2021
Culham, James Woodsworth (Jim) passed away on October 3, 2021, at the age of 85. Jim was born on October 12, 1935 at Smeaton, Saskatchewan. He was the youngest of three children born to Walter and Iva Culham.
He lived in many locations and settled in Medicine Hat to apprentice as an embalmer. There he met and married Shirley Ashmore, a registered nurse. Their first child, Roderick James (Rod) was born on June 20, 1958 in Medicine Hat. The family then moved to Saskatoon, where Shirley nursed and Jim attended Bethel Bible Institute. Jim pastored in Preeceville and Yorkton, SK. While at Yorkton, their daughter Trudy Faye was born on September 12, 1965.
The family then moved to Esperanza, BC where Jim and Shirley both worked at the Nootka Gospel Mission, in medical missions work.
In 1968 the family moved to Brazil as missionaries and in 1975 they returned to Canada, living in Calgary, Lac La Biche, Camrose and Red Deer. During those years Jim worked as an embalmer and then as a social worker and Shirley worked as a nurse.
In the mid 90’s, in Red Deer, Shirley retired after having nursed for about 40 years and Jim retired from Social Work. They continued to live in Red Deer, where Jim became first a volunteer chaplain and then a staff chaplain at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
In 2000, Shirley was diagnosed with cancer and on October 23, 2001 she passed away. Jim continued working as a chaplain in Red Deer and (in 2005) in Castor and Hanna Alberta, until his retirement in Castor (2017) and Hanna (2018). He continued to live in Castor until his passing.
What Jim considered as the most important day of his life was December 14, 1956, where he met an Anglican missionary, Terry Frith, who explained the gospel to Jim, who saw his need of a savior and opened his heart to Christ. That event shaped the entire course of his life. From then on his one consuming desire was to live for God and to see his family and others also receive new life in Christ.
After Shirley’s passing Jim began a series of travels to China, Thailand and Brazil. Between 2002 and 2018 he visited China 13 times, Thailand 4 times, New Zealand and Brazil once each.
Jim is survived by son Rod and his partner Bruce Walker of London ON; daughter Trudy and her husband Trevor of Olds; granddaughter Anjoli and her husband Jesse Rice of Olds and their daughters (Jim’s great granddaughters) Alaya and Karen Rice; grandson Daniel and his wife Toni Newsham of Didsbury and their sons Declan and Leif Ballard.
He is also survived by his sister-in-law Lillian Culham of Claresholm as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives and untold number of friends.
He is predeceased by his wife Shirley Culham; brother Bruce Culham and sister Vivian Pippus.
A graveside service was held with his immediate family at Mayton Cemetery, east of Olds (where Shirley is buried) on October 8, 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gideons or to a charity of the donor’s choice – preferably ones that promote the Christian gospel.
Condolences to the family may be made by visiting www.parkviewfuneralchapels.com
Parkview Funeral Chapels and Crematorium were entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. For further information please contact 403-882-3141.
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